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Manchester police sergeant is subject of criminal probe, on paid leave

New Hampshire Union Leader

August 06. 2018 9:39PM
Manchester Police's Eric Knight gets his sergeant shield pinned on during a promotion ceremony in this 2015 file photo. (DAVID LANE/STAFF)

MANCHESTER — A 21-year veteran of the city police department is under investigation by local and federal authorities for unspecified wrongdoing, police officials announced Monday afternoon, the third officer in seven months to face a criminal probe.

Sgt. Eric Knight was placed on paid leave July 16 after police were notified by Hillsborough County Attorney Dennis Hogan about potential officer misconduct, police said. Knight is the subject of an internal affairs investigation, too.

“Both the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office and United States Attorney Office—District of New Hampshire have initiated a criminal probe into the allegations concerning Sergeant Knight,” police said in a statement.

Knight is the most recent Manchester police officer to come under a criminal probe.

Strafford County Attorney Thomas Velardi is overseeing an investigation into two former Manchester police detectives — Darren Murphy and Aaron Brown — after allegations surfaced early this year that they coerced a Manchester woman to have sex with them.

A fourth officer — Steven Cornacchia — was suspended and eventually fired after a hit-and-run pedestrian accident downtown in May 2017.

Police issued the statement about Knight a few hours after the New Hampshire Union Leader contacted Police Chief Carlo Capano and spokesman Lt. Brian O’Keefe to inquire about Knight’s employment status.

“The Manchester Police Department takes every allegation against our officers seriously and as such initiated an internal affairs investigation into allegations of misconduct by Manchester Police Sergeant Eric Knight,” police said in a statement.

According to the city Human Resources Department, Knight works in the training unit, which screens applicants, prepares rookie police officers and coordinates continued training for police.

He is at the 14th step in his pay grade, which provides an annual salary of $94,300. Last year, he earned $122,400.

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